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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Refugee Returns Hit the 50,000 Mark

Refugee Returns Hit the 50,000 Mark

POIPET, Cambodia-The 50,000th Cambodian refugee to return home under the auspices

of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) crossed the border from Thailand

to Cambodia on July 13.

Srei Roeung, his wife Tet Mom, and their two-year-old daughter were greeted by officials

from UNHCR and the Thai government in a simple ceremony at Poipet. The family then

continued on to Sisophon, where they boarded the "Sisophon Express" train

for Phnom Penh.

A former monk who left Cambodia in 1979, Srei Roeung and his family were among 1,175

refugees who returned to their homeland in the 87th convoy to cross from Thailand

since repatriation started on March 30.

The rate of repatriation has risen steadily over the past three months, with 928

returning in March, 4,837 in April, 13,426 in May, and 20,029 in June. UNHCR hopes

to bring more than 25,000 refugees back in July.

Meanwhile, with approval from health authorities, repatriation has resumed from Site

2 camp, where cases of cholera were reported in June.

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